Customer Service vs Customer Care

It is essential for brands to take care of their customers by providing top-quality before, during, and after a purchase. The process of giving the best for our customers is often called “customer service,” but there are some that call it “customer care.” There are a few business owners that say that there is no difference between the two terms, but the truth is, the terms have different uses for a brand. What are the differences between the two? And when do we use them? The answers will be revealed as we get to take a look at the descriptions and differences of customer service and customer care.

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is the term used for the assistance given to a customer after a purchase. For example, if a customer has a problem with a product he or she has purchased from your store, then the assistance and advice you will give for that customer are called “customer service.” So, in a sense, customer service only applies if a potential buyer has finally bought a product on your online or physical shop.  That is also the reason why “customer service representatives” are called by that title because they are the ones responsible for responding to feedback and giving answers or fixes for the customer’s concerns. 

But, some companies have exceptions to the rule of customer service, as they would often provide assistance to people that haven’t bought a product yet but are inquiring about it. If a potential buyer messages you on one of the brand’s social media accounts, answering the inquiry would already be considered customer service even if the buyer isn’t exactly a customer yet. Let us not forget that in business, a person can only be called a customer if he or she has made a purchase. However, the definition of “customer” is vague nowadays, so now we call potential buyers customers as well.

What is Customer Care?

a customer talking to a customer service representative through her laptop

As opposed to customer service, customer care is a term used to describe the overall assistance or service provided by a potential buyer or a returning customer while he or she is making a purchase. So, customer care is much more general compared to customer service, as the former focuses on the entire customer experience that the brand will be providing assistance on. Customer care can apply to inquiries of potential buyers, and they also apply to the aftersales support for the customer.

There are some owners that describe customer care as the connection that the brand creates between it and the customers. Creating a connection and interaction is important for boosting sales, as customers that are satisfied with your overall service may be returning to buy some more, while new customers will be encouraged to buy from your shop because of the great atmosphere that makes them feel welcome. You could say that customer service is just one part of customer care, and customer care is just the bigger picture of providing the best service and care for customers.

Is There a Difference Between the Two Terms?

Now that we have provided descriptions for each term, we can now evaluate if there actually is a difference between the two. At first glance, there is really no difference between the two terms, as both of them are used to describe the assistance provided to customers by the brand, company, or shop. But, the difference between the two is that customer service focuses on one aspect of the customer experience, while customer care focuses on the entire customer experience.

It would actually be wrong to say that the two terms are the same, as they do have different descriptions and uses. On the other hand, as previously mentioned, customer service could be called customer care since it is a part of it, but customer care should not be called customer service since it limits what it should do for the brand. It is important to differentiate the terms, and their differences should be known by you and your employees so that there won’t be misunderstandings on when your brand should give customer service or customer care.

Learning the differences between customer care and customer service is quite easy, but actually applying them to your brand can be difficult, as you would need to have a proper customer care plan while also hiring the friendliness and most humble employees that will greet your customers with kindness and hospitality. Getting your employees proper training in customer service is also needed to make them better at approaching customers.

Customer care is a crucial aspect of your brand, so it should be improved by making your shop or company much more approachable, which can be done by responding to inquiries and fixing customer’s problems with sufficient knowledge and speed. Having great customer care is the key to get more customers and boost your sales efficiently besides getting a good marketing plan.